Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Animated Movies of My Childhood, Part II
And we start the second half with the pinnacle of my childhood:
1986: Transformers: The Movie
Spike said 'shit' in the first ten minutes and I saw a parent walk out with her kids! Autobots are dying! THEY KILLED OPTIMUS PRIME! About the only thing this movie did wrong was jettison all of our familiar transformers in the first twenty minutes of the movie and replace them with unfamiliar characters. Then they immediately turned around and wrote a cartoon series to bring Optimus back to life.
This year was also the release of An American Tail, which I have a lot of appreciation for as an adult, but a baby mouse wasn't doing much for me at this point.
1987: The Chipmunk Adventure
The Chipmunks and the Chippettes on a balloon race around the world. I probably haven't seen this in about twenty years, so I don't know how well this holds up, but I remember watching this one a lot, despite never really being a fan of the Chipmunks cartoon. The animation was top-notch for the time, and I recall it having a musical feel to it... I was always a fan of musicals. I think I'll have to add this to my watch-list.
I also want to give mention to GI Joe: The Movie. As a general rule for this list, I've stayed away from TV-movies. But this was actually intended for theatrical release, and the three-minute opening reworked the GI Joe theme song for a battle sequence over the Statue of Liberty, for my money, is the most adrenaline-packed three minutes ever animated.
1988: The Land Before Time
I saw this in 9th grade history class, I kid you not. And I walked out thinking, "what a great film!" I'm guessing the twelve sequels are pretty much shovelware, but it certainly started out strong.
Yet I've never been big on talking animal films, and so I've never seen Walt Disney's Oliver and Company, released the same year, in it's entirety... in spite of Cheech doing the voice of the chihuahua.
1989: Disney's The Little Mermaid
Other than really liking the song, "Kiss the Girl", I never really got the popularity of the Little Mermaid. Until now when I compare it to the rest of the 80's and realize that this really was, on many levels, head and shoulders above what the last two decades gave us. Your alternative this year was another Don Bluth talking animal film, All Dogs Go to Heaven. Didn't a talking dog movie just come out last year, and I didn't see that either? Skipped.
1990: DuckTales the Movie: The Treasure of the Lost Lamp
The DuckTales movie was everything the television show was and then some. And the television show was, in my opinion, something a revolution for television animantion. The quality of the "Disney Afternoon" shows and Disney's Gummi Bears on Saturday mornings was far beyond most of the other stuff out there.
Disney also checked in with a second Rescuers movie: Rescuers Down Under. Having never seen the first Rescuers movie, this didn't grab my attention.
1991: Beauty and the Beast
So going on eighteen, I was really starting to outgrow cartoons... Oh, who am I kidding. I would watch this two or three times a week and knew it by heart, ditto for Aladdin and Lion King.
But look at what else you have this year: An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Rover Dangerfield, and Rock-a-Doodle. And the direct-to-video market was starting to pick up steam as well.. No, I never saw any of these others... It's stunning how quickly this industry grew, when it barely existed just a decade previous.
In 1992, I allegedly became an adult. I've got one more part in this series, a fairly brief perspective on the last couple decades, coming Thursday. Allegedly.